USV has a strict policy against all types of workplace harassment, including harassment on the basis of race, color, religion (including religious dress practices and religious grooming practices), national origin, sex, gender, gender identity and/or expression, genetic predisposition or carrier status, ancestry, age, physical or mental disability, medical condition (including pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding and related medical conditions), marital, parental, registered domestic partnership or military or veteran status, sexual orientation, citizenship status, victim of domestic violence status, or any other basis prohibited by applicable laws. This harassment policy applies to all persons involved in the operations of USV. USV’s policy also prohibits harassment of employees by vendors or clients, including USV portfolio companies, entrepreneurs or other investors. If harassment occurs on the job or at a work-related event such as at conference or off-site meeting and by someone not employed by USV, the procedures in the policy should be followed as if the harasser were an employee of the USV. USV strongly encourages its portfolio companies to institute a comparable harassment policy.
A. SEXUAL HARASSMENT
Sexual harassment is defined as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when (1) submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly as a term or condition of an individual’s employment (2) submission to, or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment decisions affecting such individual or (3) such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment.
While it is not possible to identify each and every act that constitutes or may constitute sexual harassment, the following are some examples of sexual harassment: (a) threatening or demanding sexual favors; (b) lewd, derogatory or unwanted comments or jokes; (c) comments regarding sexual behavior or the body of another person; (d) sexual innuendo and other vocal activity such as catcalls or whistles; (e) obscene letters, notes, emails, invitations, photographs, cartoons, articles, or other written or pictorial materials of a sexual nature; (f) requests for dates after being informed that interest is unwelcome; (g) retaliating against an employee for refusing a sexual advance or for reporting an incident of possible sexual harassment to USV or any government agency; (h) offering or providing favors or employment benefits such as promotions, favorable evaluations, favorable assigned duties or shifts, etc., in exchange for sexual favors; and (i) any unwanted physical touching or assaults, or blocking or impeding movements.
B. OTHER HARASSMENT
Other workplace harassment is often verbal or physical conduct that insults or shows hostility or aversion towards an individual because of the individual’s race, color, religion (including religious dress practices and religious grooming practices), national origin, gender, gender identity and/or expression, genetic predisposition or carrier status, ancestry, age, physical or mental disability, medical condition (including pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding and related medical conditions), marital, parental, registered domestic partnership or military or veteran status, sexual orientation, citizenship status, victim of domestic violence status, or any other basis prohibited by federal, state, or local laws. Again, while it is not possible to list all the circumstances that may constitute other forms of workplace harassment, the following are some examples of conduct that may constitute workplace harassment: (a) the use of disparaging or abusive words or phrases, slurs, negative stereotyping, or threatening, intimidating or hostile acts that relate to the above protected categories; (b) written or graphic material that insults, stereotypes or shows aversion or hostility towards an individual or group because of one of the above protected categories and that is placed on walls, bulletin boards, email, voicemail, or elsewhere on USV’s premises, or circulated in the workplace; and (c) a display of symbols, slogans, or items that are associated with hate or intolerance towards any select group.
REPORTING DISCRIMINATION, HARASSMENT, AND RETALIATION
Any employee at USV who feels that he or she has witnessed, been subject to, or become aware of any form of discrimination, harassment, or retaliation should immediately notify any of the USV partners.
USV prohibits retaliation against any employee who lodges, provides information about, or assists in the investigation of, any complaint of harassment, discrimination or retaliation.
USV will conduct a fair, timely and thorough investigation, with recognition that in some instances this may require a 3rd party professional. If USV determines that prohibited harassment, discrimination, retaliation or other conduct in violation of our policies has occurred, appropriate action will be taken to resolve the matter. Any person who is found to have engaged in prohibited harassment, discrimination, retaliation or other conduct that violates USV policy is subject to disciplinary action, up to and including immediate termination of employment. Appropriate action will also be taken to deter any future harassment, discrimination or retaliation. USV will strive to keep such investigations confidential provided doing so will not compromise our ability to conduct a thorough and fair investigation.